The most successful team in TELUS Cup history, the Notre Dame Hounds are seeking their sixth national title
The Notre Dame Hounds head to Okotoks with a wealth of TELUS Cup experience. With 54 wins and a record five national titles in 11 appearances at Canada’s National Men’s U18 Club Championship, the Hounds are looking for another success in southern Alberta.
After edging the Saskatoon Blazers by just one point atop the Saskatchewan Men’s AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL) during the regular season, the Hounds have lost just two of 11 playoff games en route to the championship. SMAAAHL, including a Warman sweep in the final.
Notre Dame went through the preliminary round at the West Regional undefeated and appeared to be in control of the final with a 3-0 lead over the Southwest Cougars. But the Cougars fought back and it took an Andrew Altwasser goal with 17.2 seconds left to give the Hounds a 4-3 win and a berth at Okotoks.
They’re back at the national championship for the first time since winning it all in Sudbury, Ont., in 2018, looking to prove once again why they’re considered among the top hockey programs in the country.
The Hounds possess a powerhouse offense, with Cole Wirun and Ethan Look finishing second and third respectively in SMAAAHL scoring, leading a group that has scored a league-leading 233 goals.
But Jeremy Mylymok, Notre Dame’s director of hockey, is quick to point out that this is a well-rounded roster that will serve the Hounds well in a seven-game-in-seven-day tournament like the TELUS Cup.
“We have four lines that can play,” he said. “We don’t rely on a single line, a powerful player or a goalkeeper.
Notre Dame also relies on cohesion, with much of the group having grown up together at school in Wilcox, Saskatchewan.
“We also have first- and second-year guys, but more than half the team is three- or four-year-olds who grew up here at Notre Dame,” Mylymok said. “So we know these players well, they really worked hard to get to where they are today.”
And let’s not forget the experience behind the bench. Head coach Del Pedrick returned to the Hounds this season after a short stint in Romania; he was the bench manager when Notre Dame won back-to-back TELUS Cup championships in 2009 and 2010.
The Hounds open their TELUS Cup schedule against the Atlantic Region champion Moncton Flyers on May 16.
HOW THEY GOT TO OKOTOKS
Saskatchewan Men’s AAA Hockey League
Quarter-final: Defeated Battlefords Stars 3-1 (5-2, 3-4, 6-2, 3-2)
Semi-final: Defeated the Regina Pat Canadians 3-1 (2-3, 4-2, 5-2, 4-0)
Final: Defeated the Warman Wildcats 3-0 (4-3 OT, 5-4, 6-3)
Preliminary round: 3-0-0 – first place (beat Winnipeg Wild 3-2, beat Southwest Cougars 3-0, beat Thunder Bay Kings 8-3)
Final: Defeated the Southwest Cougars 4-3
Regular season record: 35-9-0 (1st in SMAAAHL) Goals for: 233 (1st in SMAAAHL) Goals against: 118 (T-3rd in SMAAAHL) Longest winning streak: 12 (Jan 30-Mar 11) Top 3 of the scorers:
– Cole Wirun – 38G 41A 69P (2nd in SMAAAHL)
– Ethan Look – 19G 49A 68P (3rd in SMAAAHL)
– Ben Aucoin – 23G 28A 51P (11th in SMAAAHL)
Playoff record: 12-2 Goals for: 65 Goals against: 35 Top 3 scorers:
– Look Ethan – 7G 11A 18P
-Ben Aucoin – 7G 11A 18P
– Ishan Mittoo-Khulbe – 9G 7A 16P
HISTORY OF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
1979 – Dogs of Notre Dame | bronze medal | 5-1-0 | 32GF 16GA
1980 – Dogs of Notre Dame | gold medal | 6-0-0 | 36GF 15GA
1981 – Dogs of Notre Dame | fifth place | 3-2-1 | 24GF 17GA
1982 – Dogs of Notre Dame | fifth place | 2-3-0 | 21GF 15GA
1984 – Dogs of Notre Dame | silver medal | 4-3-0 | 26GF 16GA
1986 – Dogs of Notre Dame | gold medal | 7-0-0 | 51GF 16GA
1987 – Notre Dame Hounds | silver medal | 4-3-0 | 28GF 20GA
1990 – Dogs of Notre Dame | bronze medal | 4-2-1 | 25GF 17GA
2009 – Notre Dame Hounds | gold medal | 6-0-1 | 44GA 21GA
2010 – Notre Dame Hounds | gold medal | 4-0-3 | 29GF 22GA
2018 – Hunting Dogs of Notre-Dame | gold medal | 7-0-0 | 28GF 10GA
PLAYERS TO WATCH
confident point guard… deadly shot… fast skater… always has the puck on his stick
smooth-skating defender… produces offense from the back… great at picking up pucks and making the first pass
WHL CHOSEN PLAYERS
Van Eger – Swift Current 2020 (4th round, 88th overall) Joey Rocha – Swift Current 2020 (5th round, 109th overall)
OHL SELECTED PLAYERS
Owen Thomas – Sarnia 2021 (7th round, 132nd overall)
QMJHL DRAFT PLAYERS
Rémi Lapalme – Rouyn-Noranda 2021 (7th round, 118th overall)